hello all.

i taught my first piece of false doctrine this week. not once ... but twice. they do this cruel thing here called "everyone writes a talk for sacrament meeting in italian and the branch president will stand up and announce who is speaking right there and then with no heads up." well i thought i would be in the clear this week because i am new and bad at italian and three of the people that were leaving for italy this week hadn't had their turn yet. still i wrote a talk (if you could call it that) and was prepared but the prez stood up and asked me to bare my testimony in italian for everyone. no prob. i do it all the time here. so i did my thing and then found myself testifying that joseph F smith restored the gospel in the earth today. um what? then later in the day, i did it AGAIN! sure, he was a true prophet and is probably under recognized ... but he was not joseph smith. whoops.

and THEN i also had my first heckler this week. every night before bed, sister beus and i "contact" (bare our italian testimonies to the person we feel could use a little pick me up). we were doing our thing on our favorite contacting corner and chose some nice elders, who had just arrived, to bare them to. i thought i did a fine job, boarderline excellent, but when i finished he said to me:  "can i give you some advice? you seem really uncomfortable and anxious and i don't believe you when you speak. so calm down and work a really hard with the language. you'll get there eventually just work hard! goodnight!" he was probably right but let's just say i was a little displeased with that response. ha! sillysillysilly.

another exciting piece of my week that didn't have me jumping for joy came about two minutes after i fell asleep. it was 12:47 am, and the fire alarm went off. i swear it took me like 10 minutes to realize that there was potentially a great emergency afoot. eventually i got myself outside and was amused at what sister missionaries do in emergencies. some were dressed in full missionary attire, complete with their "language dragon" (the book that us foreign-going missionaries LIVE in) and their book of mormon. my best italian sorella, sister pearce, was wearing her flower and butterfly muumuu that didn't exactly cover her garments (dang carinessa!), and it was hilarious! of course that would happen on the night she was ill prepared. i love her and you all will too when we come home.

in other news:  SALT LAKE CITY, be on alert! there is the most beautiful roman sister missionary headed your way july 18th. her name is sister marchetti and she is from a small town right outside of rome. she is serving in the temple square visitors' center mission and she is the best and i love her and i told her that i would tell all of my loved ones to come spoil her with love and candy and food and listening ears and (what is most important to us) referrals! so go and make an honest woman out of me! 

guys, i love being a missionary. and i love the mtc. seriously if they served cafe rio and/or zupas (which, by the way, is the misspelled italian word for "soup"... zuppa) here and my family could be here with me, i would honestly think that i was in heaven. there is nowhere else in the world that has such a diverse group of young men and women, with unique plans ahead of them, that are all united in one cause:  inviting others to come unto christ. the spirit here is unmatched and i am dreading the day that i get kicked out of here (but italy will probably cushion the fall). 

i am so blessed. so blessed to have so many loving family members and friends that are supporting me in the work. so lucky to come from a family that chooses righteousness and happiness over anything else. so lucky to be at the right place, at the right time, for the right people, with the best companion and the finest teachers and the most blessed fake (but doesn't feel fake) investigators that the world has to offer.

i know with all that i am that god lives. i know because he tells me every single moment that i am here. and he tells me even louder when i am silly and try to plug my ears. he loves me and he loves you and he has prepared a way for us to escape this world, full of guilt and sorrow and pain and suffering, to live in his presence, the way he lives, for all eternity. (am i still allowed to be an english major after that kind of sentence?) this gospel of change, happiness, and forgiveness was restored on this earth, through joseph smith (not to be confused with anyone else), by god the father and his son jesus christ. he gave us the book of mormon to tell us everything that we need to do to obtain his glory and learn how to be like his son. i am grateful for this knowledge, because without it what would life be worth? not a lot. i am grateful that i, through christ's atoning sacrifice, the immense love of my heavenly father, and the power of the holy ghost, have the opportunity to uncover this knowledge to the good people of italy, so that they can find joy, be sealed with their families forever, and recognize that they have very specific plans for them that were uniquely constructed and given to us by the almighty god. oh sweet the joy this sentence gives, i know that my redeemer lives! 

i love you all so much! thanks for the love the support and the prayers in my behalf. i need them!

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